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Match Report



Match report by Leon O'Sullivan

Aylesbury travelled north to meet the Steelmen of Corby Town for the first time in a competitive game since the 1980s, and fought back from a less than ideal start to cause the high-flyers some trepidation.

Both clubs came into the game on a low, with Corby having lost three in a row and the Ducks coming off of perhaps their most disappointing result and performance of the season in the previous weekend's 4-1 home defeat to North Leigh. United boss Ben Williams was scathing in his criticism following that match, and that was reflected in his team selection as he made as many changes as his small squad would allow. Jack Hopwood returned from injury to reclaim his place in goal from young Archie Davis, while Callum Mapley, Aaron Berry and Benji Aghadiuno all had to settle for a seat on the bench, replaced in the starting lineup by Matt Peake-Pijnen, Ollie Jones and Tre Mitford.

Following a slow start from both teams, Aylesbury, as has too often been the case recently, allowed their opponents the lead in the 16th minute via some less than decisive defending. Makeshift right-back Ollie Hogg, along with the Ducks centre halves, were unable to clear their lines, the ball was duly smuggled away by Corby striker Elliott Sandy, and he passed to winger Jordan Francis who drove the ball home. 1-0 Corby

Aylesbury almost found themselves level three minutes later, as a long ball from Peake-Pijnen was unwittingly flicked on by a home defender into the path of Max Hercules inside the penalty area, however another Corby defender came to the Steelmen's rescue with a last-ditch tackle.

On 25 minutes, the hosts doubled their lead. Jordan Crawford's through ball perfectly found the run of Sandy, and he slotted past Hopwood for his 10th league goal of the season. 2-0 Corby

Given last week's showing, not to mention the results earlier in the season when visiting other strong sides like Bromsgrove and Bedford, you could have been forgiven for thinking the game was effectively over, but a chastened Aylesbury had other plans on this occasion.

Four minutes later, an inswinging Peake-Pijnen freekick found its way into the path of Ducks skipper Jack Wood, who pulled off a rare move, the lesser-spotted bicycle kick lob! The ball looped for seemingly an age over a dumbfounded Dan George before finally rippling the back of the net, confirming Wood's first league goal of the season. 2-1 Corby

With 35 minutes played, a seemingly unlikely comeback was completed, in the space of just ten minutes. A terrific Prosper curled pass dissected the Corby defence, and a clean-through Tre Mitford converted his third goal in as many games to equalise for the Ducks. Game on. 2-2

With all to play for again, the Steelmen created the best chance in the remainder of the first half, as the impressive Crawford pulled his shot wide, but The Ducks would certainly have been the happier side heading into the half-time break.

Half-time: Corby 2-2 Aylesbury

Five minutes into the second half, good approach play from Hercules and Ben Seaton created another chance for Mitford, but this time he was unable to find the target with his shot.

Shortly before the hour mark, Corby were able to net what would prove to be the winning goal. Crawford's driven cross from the right was met with a powerful header from Sandy to restore the home side's lead. 3-2 Corby

Ben Williams used all available attacking options over the course of the final half hour as the Ducks chased the game, with Aghadiuno, Harry Jones and Berry replacing Ollie Jones, Hercules and Bewley respectively, and it was good work from Aghadiuno which set up another opportunity for Mitford, only for his near post shot to be well parried by George. This was the only save that either goalkeeper would make over the course of the 90 minutes.

A Greg Williams cross-cum-shot very nearly found its way into the path of an onrushing Wood with five minutes remaining, and it would be Wood again who had the final chance of the game. Another Peake-Pijnen free kick was met by the captain at the far post, but much to his frustration he was unable to direct the ball towards goal.

Certainly a much-improved showing from United, although they will have ended up disappointed not to take anything from the game after putting in a real shift. Next up for the Ducks is a home game next weekend against a resurgent Kidlington, fresh off of a surprising win over Cambridge City